Monday, April 04, 2005

Fallout from Napa Vintners vs. Bronco

What will the Supreme Court's refusal to hear the Napa Ridge labeling issue mean for other producers? Is Fred Franzia right that these strict labeling requirements are misunderstood by most consumers and an unfair infringement of free trade?

I wouldn't have thought that I would find myself on Fred's side, but if you extend the argument put forth by the Napa Vintner's Association, you do start to wonder about the ramifications. For example, consider the following:

Napa Ridge actually has a line of Napa wines, and also has a range of wines that aren't from Napa and many other wine brands with appellation-based names do not exclusively sell wines from that same appellation, for example:

  • Stag's Leap Winery
  • Edna Valley
  • Healdsburg Vineyards
  • Mount Veeder
  • Guenoc
  • Sonoma Creek
  • Rutherford Hill
  • Coastal Vintners
  • Glen Ellen (okay, okay not an appellation, I know)
  • And others, no doubt

There are also innumerable wines from wineries with geographic names real or imagined (Corbett Canyon, Crane Canyon, Eagle Canyon, Manzanita Canyon, Adobe Canyon, Peach Canyon, etc.) yet none of these are held to the same high standard as Napa either.

Should Chalk Hill Winery want to release a wine with a Sonoma County appellation, should they be banned from doing so? Food for thought....


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